The aircraft hit a snowplough as it took off shortly after midnight and crashed – killing all on board – as it attempted to return for an emergency landing. The snowplough driver also died. Russian investigators have since discovered that the driver was “in a state of alcoholic intoxication” at the time of the crash.
I’ve been known to like a drink myself and even, whisper it, to reach certain states of inebriation. But for widespread examples of out and out drunkenness I’ve simply never seen anything at all like Russia. And yes, I have been in the centre of British provincial towns at closing time. That’s the kindergarden league by comparison.